Rugby World Cup 2011: South Africa vs. Fiji Game Recap

Chris CarsonContributor ISeptember 17, 2011

WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17:  Morne Steyn of the Springboks dives past Gaby Lovobalavu of Fiji to score his team's fourth try during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool D match between South Africa and Fiji at Wellington Regional Stadium on September 17, 2011 in Wellington, New Zealand.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

In their 49-3 win over Fiji, defending World Cup Champion South Africa played like a well-oiled machine.

The Springboks were able to roll over their feisty opponent with a combination of intelligent play and powerful running.

All game, South Africa placed the ball well after they were tackled, when they kicked and when they passed. This ensured they were in the right position to break Fiji's tackles or simply evade defenders all together.

In the first half of the match, the difference maker was penalties. South Africa attempted five penalty kicks and converted on three of them, giving them an extra nine points and a comfortable lead going into the break.

The second half was all South Africa, as they upped the intensity and really showed why they are still in the running for their second consecutive World Cup title.

South Africa scored four more tries in the second half and were seemingly unstoppable. Though both teams were about equal in most statistical categories, it was the experience and efficiency of South Africa that allowed them to take control of the match.

In World Cup play, little mistakes can hive big consequences and, unfortunately for Fiji, South Africa took full advantage of every error.

Namibia should have been taking notes on just how dangerous South Africa can be. The two teams meet on September 22 in Auckland. Namibia is yet to win a match at the World Cup and are coming off of a beating at the hands of Samoa. It should be no contest for South Africa.

As for Fiji, the road gets no easier, as they prepare for Samoa, who they meet on September 25.